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Worlds at my doorstep(7 posts)

Worlds at my doorstepRoyGBiv
Oct 7, 2003 2:09 PM
There's a tough decision to make every morning this week. When I leave the house, do I turn left and go two blocks down my street to watch the world's best cyclists go up a hill? Or do I turn right and go four blocks the other way and watch them fly down the hill at speeds in excess of 100 km/h?
The World Cycling Championships circus has come to town. I've been eagerly awaiting for it for three years; booked this week off last January; It hasn't disappointed. I can hardly wait for Sunday's elite men's road race.
The crowds were sparse for the first two days and some of the big names of cycling are conspicuous by their absense: Armstrong told us a year ago he wouldn't be here; I was sorely disappointed to hear Tyler Hamilton would take a pass; then Ullrich (sp?) claimed he was burned out; finally, reigning world champ Mario Cipolinni (sp?) opted out. We like to speculate he couldn't hack our hill.
The course winds through the streets of downtown Hamilton, Ontario; then up the Niagara Escarpment, through old residential areas on top of the "Mountain" as we call it, down the hill for what amounts to a hairpin turn and back up the Mountain to another hairpin at the top and the second descent to the downtown area.
No comparison to L'alps d'Huez, no question. But a good little challenge, especially having to ascend the escarpment twice per lap. It has separated the men from the boys in these parts for years and I think the men and women competing this week might have some fun on it. It certainly qualifies as an excellent spectator track. And we've been blessed with a sweet Indian Summer this week - of all weeks.
I have cycled on bits and pieces of the course for years. It was truly sobering watching men and women flying up the hill the way they did at the one end of my street. And watching them scream down the hill at the 100 k - I've hit 80 on the same road many a time so the thrill of watching them was a bit more than vicarious.
And there has been some fringe benefits from having the
World Cycling Championship almost literally at my doorstep. My neighbourhood is in the midst of the course and it has been on automotive lock down this week. How quiet and peaceful our neighhbourhood has been with hardly any cars buzzing around it. And not to mention that much safer for cycling.
Brian C.
re: Worlds at my doorstepurwhaturide
Oct 7, 2003 6:23 PM
Very nice, enjoy the week
I'll be dropping by on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to be dazzled by the best
Me too.Mike Tea
Oct 7, 2003 7:49 PM
Thurs, Sat, Sunday for me too and I was there Monday on training day just checking out the facilities and walking distances. My legs still hurt. I was never meant to walk.
worlds advice?SeanKellys-reincarnate
Oct 7, 2003 11:46 PM
ENJOY your week off rob.. you sound like you are having fun
i was so worried about the weather too.. but you are right it is perfect out!
any pro sightings yet?

i may only be able to get in from toronto on the weekend..
so from someone who lives there..?.. do you have any advice how to best enjoy the event on sunday? are the tickets worth it or can you enjoy the race with out them? ($$ is kinda tight).. so i was wondering, can you get on beckett drive with out them? can you access any vendors without them?? What is the best way to get to and around the course .. should i bring my bike?
i would be curious to know also ,do you have an idea on how you will watch the race or just going to play it by ear.. (what about the idea of walking the course backwardsafter the start?

oah.. such an awkward sport to watch live.. .. right up there with golf..

thanks for any advice.. have fun!
worlds advice?RoyGBiv
Oct 8, 2003 4:24 AM
If you're coming from Toronto, take the GO train. There's a special service from T.O. to Hamilton on the weekend. Phone them or check their Web site for times.
Tickets get you into the grandstand seating area at the finish line and on to the Claremont Access, which probably gives you the best viewing on the whole course (on a clear day you can see Toronto). There's a lot of good, free viewing throughout the course, so don't worry about a ticket.
The weather's perfect, Bettini (sp?) has been seen, Zabel supposed to be in town. This is going to be great!
Brian C.
Silver standings..............Mike Tea
Oct 8, 2003 3:12 PM
......get you onto the Beckett Drive hill as well as the Claremont. It's 2000 max on Beckett so get there early!
I'm glad its not where I live ...Humma Hah
Oct 8, 2003 7:26 AM
... it would just KILL my spirit to know I had to work all day until way late, probably the weekend, too, and totally miss something that grand in my own back yard.